We now have the other pieces to the puzzle of NASA returning to the moon, and it turns out that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin team will be part of the effort.

Bezos announced the news as a special event this week.

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“National challenges call for a national response. We are humbled and inspired to lead this deeply committed team that will land NASA astronauts on the Moon,” said Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin.”Combining our partners’ heritage with our advance work on the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine, our team is looking forward to working with NASA in support of the Artemis program.”

The Blue Origin team will also work with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper on the mission which is set to launch in 2024.

Responsibilities for the mission will break down as follows:

  • Blue Origin, as prime contractor, leads program management, systems engineering, safety and mission assurance, and mission engineering while providing the Descent Element that is based on the multi-year development of the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine.
  • Lockheed Martin develops the reusable Ascent Element vehicle and leads crewed flight operations and training.
  • Northrop Grumman provides the Transfer Element vehicle that brings the landing system down towards the Moon.
  • Draper leads descent guidance and provides flight avionics.

Cover image via Blue Origin